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Easy Kimbap (Korean Sushi Roll)

Easy kimbap (Korean sushi roll) recipe!

Today I’m sharing an easy kimbap recipe. In Korea, we call it Yachae Kimbap (야채 김밥). It means vegetable kimbap and this is the most basic kimbap variety available in Korea.

While the name indicates that it’s vegetable oriented, it’s not necessarily a vegetarian kimbap.

It does include some processed meat such as Korean ham and imitation crab meat. But if you’re after vegetarian kimbap, you can simply omit these and perhaps add some cooked seasoned tofu.

Kimbap served with yellow radish pickles

This easy kimbap somewhat resembles California roll, but as you can gather they do taste different. In my opinion, easy kimbap has more savory and subtle flavor than California roll.

Anyway, kimbap is a popular picnic food in Korea. I always looked forward to my school picnic day because my mom would get up early and make these delicious rolls for me. Our kitchen smelled like toasted sesame oil all morning.

I hope you try my recipe soon!

P.S. Don’t forget to check my other kimbap recipes too! These are more fancier varieties in my opinion. Enjoy! – 

Holding kimbap with chopsticks

Ingredients for Easy Kimbap (Makes 4 rolls)

  • 4 dried seaweed sheets (gim / sushi nori)
  • 120g / 4.2 ounces spinach (regular or baby spinach)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 carrot (120g / 4.2 ounces), julienned
  • 2 to 4 imitation crab sticks (depending on the length), cut in half length ways
  • 4 sticks of BBQ Kimbap ham, cut into long strips if you didn’t buy the pre-cut version (available at a Korean grocery store)
  • 4 yellow radish pickle (danmuji), cut into long strips if you didn’t buy the pre-cut version (available at a Korean / Japanese grocery store)
  • (optional) 12 strips seasoned edible burdock root (available at a Korean grocery store. You can buy the one that’s packaged together with yellow radish pickle like this picture. It’s also sold individually.)

Kimbap ingredient photo - Yellow radish pickles and seasoned burdocks

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

Alternative Ingredients / Substitution

  • Spinach -> cucumber
  • Korean kimbap ham -> sliced double smoked ham (no further cooking needed)
  • Sliced cheese or cream cheese
  • Bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef)
  • Kimchi
  • Yubu (inariage)

How to Make Kimbap

1. Rinse the spinach and parboil it in rapidly boiling water (30 seconds to 1 minute). Drain the water away and run some cold water over the spinach. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove any excess water. Put the spinach into a bowl. Add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil then mix them well.

2. Pre-heat a pan/skillet. Add a small dash of cooking oil and spread it around the pan. Add the beaten egg and cook both sides well over medium heat. Place the egg omelette on a cutting board and cut it into long strips.

Spinach and Eggs for Kimbap

3. In a heated pan, lightly cook the carrots, crab sticks and kimbap ham (about 1 min per ingredients), separately, and over medium heat. (Some people use these raw, but I prefer cooking them first for my kimbap.)

Cooking carrots, crab sticks and kimbap ham in a skillet
4. Place the cooked rice into a mixing bowl then add 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste). Mix them well with a rice spatula.

Seasoned rice in a bowl
5. Gather all the kimbap ingredients at the ‘kimbap rolling station’. This makes it easy to assemble.

Kimbap ingredients - dried seaweed, seasoned rice, cooked carrots, spinach, egg omelette, yellow radish pickles etc.

6. Place one dried seaweed sheet on the bamboo mat (shiny side down). Put the rice on the seaweed sheet then spread it evenly and thinly to cover about 2/3 of the seaweed. (Leave about 5cm / 2 inches gap at the top of the seaweed).

Rice and dried seaweed on bamboo mat
7. Now fill the seaweed with the filing ingredients. Make sure you evenly use the ingredients so that you’re not short of them later.

Watch How I Roll My Kimbap

 

Place one yellow radish pickle at about 1/3 point of the seaweed then add three burdock strips, one ham strip, one crab stick around it. Then pile up a few eggs strips, carrot sticks, and some spinach. Then roll the seaweed.

How to roll kimbap

If the seaweed doesn’t stick, paste some water on the gap you left in step 6. You can also use a few grains of cooked rice in this gap. Set the rolled kimbap aside.

8. Repeat the step 6 and 7 with the remaining ingredients.

9. Line up all kimbap on a cutting board and paste some sesame oil (1 Tbsp) around the seaweed surface. Slice kimbap into bite size pieces. Serve.

Brushing sesame oil on kimbap

How to Serve

You normally serve kimbap with sliced yellow radish pickles. It doesn’t require a dipping sauce like sushi rolls do. However, if you want, you can serve it with some soy sauce.

Korean kimbap photo from side angle

How to Store

  • Sliced kimbap in an air tight container can be refrigerated for several hours without compromising the flavor and the texture. However, if you store these kimbap overnight, the rice will most likely go dry.
  • If planning on eating it the next day, store kimbap unsliced and keep them well packaged in the fridge. Leave at room temperature about 30 mins prior to serving then slice. Even with this effort, kimbap rice could still go dry, but less then storing sliced kimbap. Therefore, it’s best to eat it all up on the day you make it.
  • Many Koreans coat day old kimbap in beaten egg mixture and pan fry them first before eating them. It is supposed to disguise the dryness of the kimbap.


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Korean kimbap photo from side angle

Easy Kimbap

Easy kimbap / gimbap recipe. Learn how to make Korean style sushi rolls at home! It's a popular picnic and party food.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: easy kimbap
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 259kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 dried seaweed sheets (gim / sushi nori)
  • 120 g spinach (4.2 ounces), regular or baby spinach
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • 1/2 carrot (120g / 4.2 ounces), julienned
  • 2 to 4 imitation crab sticks (depending on the length), cut in half length ways
  • 4 sticks BBQ Kimbap ham , cut into long strips if you didn’t buy the pre-cut version (available at a Korean grocery store)
  • 4 yellow radish pickle (danmuji), cut into long strips if you didn’t buy the pre-cut version (available at a Korean / Japanese grocery store)
  • 12 strips seasoned edible burdock root (optional), (available at a Korean grocery store. You can buy the one that’s packaged together with yellow radish pickle like this picture. It’s also sold individually.)
  • 2 1/2 cups steamed short grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil , divided
  • 3/8 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste), divided

Instructions

  • Rinse the spinach and parboil it in rapidly boiling water (30 seconds to 1 minute). Drain the water away and run some cold water over the spinach. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove any excess water. Put the spinach into a bowl. Add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil then mix them well.
  • Pre-heat a pan/skillet. Add a small dash of cooking oil and spread it around the pan. Add the beaten egg and cook both sides well over medium heat. Place the egg omelette on a cutting board and cut it into long strips.
  • In a heated pan, lightly cook the carrots, crab sticks and kimbap ham (about 1 min per ingredients), separately, and over medium heat. (Some people use these raw, but I prefer cooking them first for my kimbap.)
  • Place the cooked rice into a mixing bowl then add 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste). Mix them well with a rice spatula.
  • Gather all the kimbap ingredients at the ‘kimbap rolling station’. This makes it easy to assemble.
  • Place one dried seaweed sheet on the bamboo mat (shiny side down). Put the rice on the seaweed sheet then spread it evenly and thinly to cover about 2/3 of the seaweed. (Leave about 5cm / 2 inches gap at the top of the seaweed).
  • Now fill the seaweed with the filing ingredients. Make sure you evenly use the ingredients so that you’re not short of them later.
    Here’s how I do it. (A short video instruction within the post above.) Place one yellow radish pickle at about 1/3 point of the seaweed then add three burdock strips, one ham strip, one crab stick around it. Then pile up a few eggs strips, carrot sticks, and some spinach. Then roll the seaweed.
    If the seaweed doesn’t stick, paste some water on the gap you left in step 6. You can also use a few grains of cooked rice in this gap. Set the rolled kimbap aside.
  • Repeat the step 6 and 7 with the remaining ingredients.
  • Line up all kimbap on a cutting board and paste some sesame oil (1 Tbsp) around the seaweed surface. Slice kimbap into bite size pieces. Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 261mg | Vitamin A: 4205IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: November 12, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

Leave a Comment

40 thoughts on “Easy Kimbap (Korean Sushi Roll)”

  1. Hello I don’t have any korean grocery stores near near me so with substitutions for the pickled radish and the korean bbq Ham whet could I use instead ?

    Reply
    • I can’t think of better substitutes for pickled radish since it’s quite unique. But for Korean BBQ ham, you can use double smoked sliced ham.

      Reply
  2. Hi. I bought a crunchy roasted seaweed at Daiso. Can I used it in making Kimbap? It was really crunchy, tbh. How can I moisten it?

    Reply
    • Hi Shaira, I think those are just a snack food. It’s hard to tell without looking at the package, but I’m pretty sure those are not suitable for this recipe. Also, isn’t the seaweed already cut into smaller pieces?

      Reply
  3. Do I have to use only special sushi rice or can l use normal rice which is available here in India? And what about sesame oil, can I use olive oil instead?

    Reply
    • Hi Nani, Sushi rice or other short grain rice is recommended because they hold together well. So it’s less likely fall out as you roll kimbap and as you eat. Sesame oil gives really nice nutty aroma and taste, which is just perfect for this dish.

      That being said, you do what you’ve got to do with substitution. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Hi, I have a question about the pickled burdock root/yellow radish from the Korean market. How should you store it after you open the package? In a glass container with water?

    Reply
  5. Out of Korean ingredients substitute, I think kim (although essential) is the hardest to substitute. Can you suggest anything to substitute if we dont have dried seaweed nearby?

    Reply
    • My goodness. This is a tough question to answer! As you already know, seaweed is the backbone of this recipe. Lol. Perhaps you can use a rice paper? You will have to cut the ingredients shorter to fit in, of course.
      Alternatively (for even healthier option), you can use a vegetable sheet (e.g. cucumber or zucchini) using this tool (http://amzn.to/2EypM8m), and make a vegetable rolls. Just don’t expect the same taste as the traditional kimbap! 😉

      Reply
  6. You did not list the mayonnaise in the ingredients. I think it is very important for the flavor of the dish. I love your website. I am sure I was Korean in a past life.

    Reply
  7. Hi where are you buying in Australia the seasoned edible burdock root, in a Korean store, it is preserved, pickle? Or in Australia has other name?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Camilo, seasoned edible burdock root is available in most Korean grocery stores. They are one of the essential Kimbap ingredients. It’s kept in the fridge. It is often sold with yellow Korean radish pickle (Danmuji, 단무지). – They are packed in a separate bag but attached to each other. I hope you can find it!

      Reply
  8. Question: where can you buy seasoned edible burdock root? From the Korean supermarket?

    How is the burdock root seasoned and cooked? Is it possible to make it yourself?

    Great recipe, btw! Will definitely make the kimbap soon!

    Reply
  9. Hi guys, my friend bought me some seaweed sheets back from Korean so i can make my own Kimbap. Just one question – do i cook the seaweed sheet or soak them in anything before i eat them?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  10. hi , i live in india. i’m so interested to have kimbap in my life ,. i dont know wher it is available in india,. so i want to make it by my own i can make it but i dont know what is this laver sheet and what it is made of,. i will be go glad if you please let me know how to make that laver sheet
    thank you

    Reply
  11. i would like 2 make kimbap but my problem is, I found a hard time looking for a shop who sell dried seaweed sheets….can you recommend me some probably a shop who allows online shopping here in the philippines particularly here in zamboanga???
    thanx so much

    Reply
  12. hey thanks..!! your recipe was indeed a big help im sooo inlove with korean foods and now i dont have to buy in a expensive resto or korean grocery..
    whoow i can make my own now..thanks KAMSAHAMNIDA!

    Reply
  13. Kimbap is great. Fantastic for road trips when you don’t really want to stop and find a restaurant to eat at.
    There are as many variations as there are people who make it. Some other ingredients to try – cucumber, kimchi, Korean spicy pork, smoked sweet squid, chicken breast strips —-

    Reply
  14. The fillings in Kimbap are really up to you.
    If it tastes good, then great, if not, try something else.

    There are no strict rules with what you add. Some people just use whatever vegetables or meat is available.

    It won’t explode if you change it 🙂
    And I won’t be offended if you change my recipes to your taste.

    Reply
  15. Hi,
    I was reading about Kimbap and look for more recipes. To me, it seems like people in korea make bulgogi kimbap more. Does that mean I just need to change BBQ ham to bulgogi and the rest veggies are the same to make bulgogi kimbap? Also, I read that the other variation of kimbap can be lightly fry with egg coating. Does that mean I can lightly fry bulgogi kimbap or vegetable kimbap (your recipe) with egg coating or I have to change some ingredients?

    About korean’s egg roll(seaweed inside)-What kinds of ingredients can be fillings of the egg roll? What many ingredients normally inside the egg roll? thanks a lot!

    Reply
  16. This is one of my favourite. Since your website is full information about one of my favourite cuisines, Korean cuisine, let me link your website. Thank you.

    Reply

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